Indra in the canoe

About Indra by his leaders

At the beginning of the program, Indra came across as a very quiet and reserved person, and struggled with communication. By the end of the trip he had made a close connection with others in his group, and all the students liked him and enjoyed his warm personality. In our final Circle back at Basecamp, it was wonderful to hear Indra, so excited to share his feelings, ideas and stories with everyone. In the mountains, Indra really shined. He was very active in the group, and very supportive of everyone. He was always offering to help his fellow students with everything from putting up the tarp, to cooking the meals. Indra took great pride in doing a great job, and rose to just about every challenge that was thrown his way.

A letter from Indra

My name is Indra, born in Nepal to a Bhutanese family in a refugee camp, where I lived until I was a teenager. We had a hard life in the refugee camp. We were not allowed to do the professional jobs and work in Nepal. We had suffered this pain and sorrow for seventeen-eighteen years. So, the United States government offered to resettle 60,000 of the 107,000 refugees, whereas other six nations Australia, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand and Denmark have offered to resettle 10,000 each. So, I got a chance to come to the United States full of hope and change.

I arrived in the US on August 26, 2008. Now I have been living in the United States for one year.  After I emigrated to the United States I found many challenges to communicate with the people and to assimilate but I worked hard in school to improve myself. I tried my best in helping other friends, because it helps me in many ways, like to be friendly, improve my ability to be a leader and be helpful. For example I helped my mother to learn English and to use the Internet. I noticed myself changing in many ways. One important way I changed is by helping others and understanding others’ feelings.

This summer I went to Colorado, Utah and Arizona with Deer Hill Expeditions. My goals and achievements were to be more frank, friendly, develop leadership skills, help others, and be more curious and show appreciation. In the base camp I met other friends from different states. I introduced myself to each of them and told about my background and where I was from. First, I was the most quiet and shy person in the group, because I am a person who talks less but works more.  After few hours I started to speak and share my stories about my life in a refugee camp. We shared our stories, feelings and goals. I shared my past and present with all of the friends. I was so excited to share my words with them.  If I was quiet and not open, I can’t share my stories, I can’t ask others if they need help nor can I ask for help. I learned that challenges will come in my way but I will be more confident and hopeful.

This summer trip itself was the most important moment of my life because I changed myself in different ways. Empathizing and helping are the main things that I learned about myself in the trip. I have become a more confident and open person. My friends helped me in canoeing and they made me full of confidence after they helped me. While hiking I saw my friend feeling panic and afraid. I went up and helped her get down through the steep area.

While at Deer Hill we lived in a Hopi Reservation for a week. The Hopi had a great impact on my life because of the similarities that I have with the Hopi people. Hopi people have sad stories and inspiration. I didn’t think there are such a people in the United States who are in the condition of poverty. Some of them don’t have running water and electricity. Their culture and traditions are  valuable to the world. They pray for the entire universe. The Hopi reservation influenced my life in a diverse manner. They taught me the importance of culture and traditions. I realized that although I live in the United States I will keep my culture forever. They taught me the importance of helping others and understanding and entering into another’s feelings. This had a great impact in my life. When I came home I realized that the best way to find our self is to lose our self in service to others.  Now, I am a different person in many ways like by being a good leader, in helping others, empathizing and being friendly. The entire trip helped me to improve leadership, share feelings, be more curious, frank and friendly, and be grateful to other people.

I would like to thank Deer Hill for giving me such a huge experience and offering me a chance to learn something about me and others. This opportunity made a huge difference in me and in the lives of others. It is not only the trips that changed my life but it is also the people with whom I shared my story, feelings and experiences. There are no words existing to thank all of them.



Indra attended Deer Hill through the partnership between Summer Search and the Deer Hill Foundation